Diana Rigg, the brilliant actress who brought to life secret agent Emma Peel and scheming mastermind Olenna Tyrell, has passed away at 82.
“My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family,” Rachael Stirling said in a statement. “She died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.”
Calling her “an icon of theater, film, and television,” Rigg’s agent Simon Beresford said in a statement that she was “a much loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors.”
He added that Rigg would be “greatly missed."
Rigg first came to the public eye during a career in theater, where she worked both as an actor and later a playwright. She earned the role of superspy Emma Peel in the campy television show "The Avengers" and was Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, James Bond's wife, in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." It is the only time the fictional British spy has been married.
Rigg accumulated many accolades over her life, including three Tony awards, winning best actress in 1994 for her role in "Medea." She earned a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) for "Mother Love." Finally, she was created a dame — the equivalent of knighthood for men — in 1994 for services to drama.